Designers and fonts have a love-hate relationship. When they’re working, and you don’t run into conflicts, they can be your best friend. But when you have grumpy fonts, they can be the bane of your existence, causing all sorts of issues—during the design phase, or final file creation and send out. To keep them on your good side, here are some tips for managing and organizing fonts:

  • Use a font-management software. Back in the day, I used to use Suitcase from Extensis. These days, however, I use Linotype FontExplorer. Linotype comes with plugins that activate/deactivate fonts as needed. Not only does this help keep conflicts to a minimum, it also helps keep your system nice and snappy by minimizing the number of active fonts.
  • Start fresh. When you start using your management software, resist the urge to have it search your entire system for every font possible. Even if you’re a young designer, you’d be surprised what you’ve accumulated. There are a lot of junky fonts out there, and they can wreak havoc on your system. Rather, import fonts as you need them.
  • Buy fonts from a reputable source, such as, or They’re fonts are clean and much less buggy.
  • Organize your fonts. When you import new fonts, take the extra time to organize them into appropriate folders, such as “Sans,” or “Slab.” This is a huge time-saver when you’re searching for just the right font.
  • Outline. When you can, and to be extra safe, outline your fonts before you send out the final artwork to the printer. This ensures you won’t have any odd issues creep up during the proofing stage.

Got some tips? Sharing is caring.